by Andrew Chalk
Talking about Vietnamese, if you find the multi page menus with their orgies of diacritics daunting then this restaurant in Dallas’s forgotton quadrant for restaurant reviews (northeast) is the place to start. There is no menu. Just three dishes are available, identified by posters behind the counter on the back wall, or the friendly waitress. They are:
Bún Bò Huê - Beef noodle soup that is subject to as many expressions as there are establishments making it. Here it is delivered as an imposing china bowl of soup but the ingredients are better shown on the wall poster where they are exhumed with the wonders of PhotoShop from the dark depths of broth to reveal themselves as beef, ham hock, pork sausage, liver, egg noodles and the requisite selection of vegetables served on the side to immerse (red onion, bean sprouts, etc.).
I had the large bowl. Have a big appetite if you plan to order this. I added the sambal and chil alternately to each mouthful which slowly spiced up the broth. This is rather like farm-to-table Chernobyl effect as at the end all your sensory systems are going supercritical. Just to defy all your AI human learning models, I would do it all again. Other than replacing the egg noodles (were they made on premise?) with rice noodles this was a very enjoyable dish. I loved the massive bundle of flavors that interacted.
Cơm gà Hội An - Our waitress informed us that this is a classic choice in the south (Saigon - now Ho Chi Minh City). It was certainly the most telegenic dish on the menu. Chicken rice is the most straightforward English language interpretation but don’t let that obscure the rich tapestry of flavors at work here. Heart, gizzard, liver, green vegetables, laksa leaves, garlic and lemon are some of the best.
Mì Quἀng - Two people. Three dishes. We did not try this one so please let us know your thoughts.
Our bill was less than $20 for two, which is great because it means that I don’t have to sell the G650 in order to eat here every week. We enjoyed (BYOB) Frank Family 2015 Zinfandel from Napa Valley as it blasted fruit without a harsh tannin backbone. More generally, Vietnamese food is one of the most wine-friendly cuisines around. Only strident chillies break the bond, and putting them in, as yours truly did, is a cockpit error. As is required in Dallas, DỨC CHỰỢNG MIDNITE is on Walnut St.
DECLARATION OF INTEREST
All restaurant reviews on this blog are conducted blind and all bills paid for by me unless otherwise noted as a media event. We subscribe to the FTC Endorsement Guides for Bloggers. Readers should not trust any writer who does not do so, or does not declare their interest - they are using you to get free food or payment. In particular, almost all so-called ‘influencers’ are whores.